The incessant sound threatened to drive me crazy. It was worse during the day, I imagine. But, due to my sun intolerance, I wouldn’t actually know and throughout the night was bad enough for me. Working at a twenty four hour tesco wasn’t exactly a dream job anyway.
I sighed as I continued pushing tins onto the shelf. I smelt the human before they got close enough to talk to me, meaning I had to fake mild surprise at my supervisors appearance. Her poorly applied lipstick and messy hair showed her distaste for personal appearance this late (or early) hour of the day. I guess 3 AM wasn’t an ideal time for normal people.
“Jane, I need you to restock the shelves in the meat section,” she began in her direct manner. I instantly started shaking my head.
“I’m sorry, Tina, but you know I’m pescetarian. I couldn’t possibly -”
“Well, I’M sorry. But you’ll have to do it for tonight. Jake didn’t show up again and we’re understaffed as it is… The boys that work here seem to be awfully unreliable lately.” She frowned and turned, walking back the way she came.
My guilt silenced me. How could I try and restrain myself from tearing open the meat and drinking the cold blood for moral reasons when it was MY fault the guys from work weren’t showing up. Granted, the cold blood is very unappealing, but still.
I didn’t kill the boys, you have to understand. Two months ago I fell off the wagon, so to speak. Charlie was too frightened to come back to work for the next two weeks and when he did he was jumpy and shaking almost the whole time. In the end they made him leave for fear of a nervous breakdown.
Next was Brad. He was probably the strangest person I’ve ever fed from. Far from being scared, he enjoyed it so much he offered himself as a blood bank. Then he wanted to join me in immortality, so we could ‘be together forever.’ He would follow me around instead of doing work, threatening to expose me for what I was, should I complain.
It didn’t come to that though. One day he was leaning over me, trying to persuade me to turn him, when Tina caught him. The disgust on my face was mistook for fear and he was fired for sexual harassment. That is what happens when you get too wrapped up in modern versions of vampires.
Then lovely Jake. I really do like him. I didn’t mean to feed from him. He asked me out to dinner on one of our joint nights off. We went out, had something to eat and ended up back at his place. He leaned around me to get a glass down and his throat was in my face. I was suddenly consumed with how hungry I was. I hadn’t fed from Brad for a month and hadn’t fed at all since then out of disgust at myself.
I had long ago accepted what I was. I didn't feel guilty because I'd fed. I mean, really, circle of life and all that. I was guilty because I actually did like this boy and he'd been nothing but nice to me. If I have to thin out the population I'd rather go for the unpleasant people. Like bigots and that one person who likes to stand in the middle of the aisle with her trolley blocking the other side off so no one can get past. (Seriously, Helen, what is your problem?!)
I explained and apologised and told him I would quit my job and leave town but he wouldn’t hear of it. He asked if that's why I went on the date with him. He’d just discovered vampires were real and he was more worried about his pride. When it was clear that that was definitely not the reason, he said it was fine, that he even wanted to see me again. But I’d taken a bit too much and now he was lying at home, recovering.
The guilt swallowed me. I headed glumly to the meat aisle to do my job.